I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a huge Britney Spears fan. I have her albums, I've made up dances to her songs and, yes, I've sung my heart out at her concerts. However, as much as I love me some Britney, I think her decision to join "The X Factor" is a bad idea.
First of all, why did she take this gig? Reality shows are for celebrities looking for a comeback. A spotlight has been shining on Ms. Spears since she danced her way onto MTV in 1999. For almost 14 years we've watched her go from bubbly pop star to sexy siren, and then from unstable starlet and to a now slightly older, and probably heavily medicated, performer. Though she hasn't always made headlines for the right reasons, getting attention has never been an issue for Britney.
In fact, there are few stars more famous than Britney (she landed at No. 6 on Forbes' Celebrity 100 List this year). What she needs is to take some time off to spend with her sons and fiance, Jason Trawick. The only real "break" she's had since she hit the scene was her 2007 rehab stints and 2008 psych ward visit -- and those "vacations" weren't exactly on her own accord. She's been going, going, going over the past few years, most recently promoting her "Femme Fatale" album and tour. It's time for Britney to focus on having a (somewhat) normal life out of the public eye and most certainly not on television. Jennifer Lopez's marriage fell apart after she became an "American Idol" judge. While it's likely the show didn't single-handedly cause her divorce from Marc Anthony, the grueling schedule couldn't have helped their relationship, and it should serve as a warning for the soon-to-be Mrs. Trawick.
Timing isn't the only issue. As much as I hate to say it, the Britney we fell in love with is not the Britney we know today. Since she went through some, um, issues a few years ago, it seems like she's been given a strict script to follow whenever making any kind of public appearance. Being a judge on a talent competition requires the ability to talk to contestants and fellow judges on a somewhat spontaneous basis -- and we haven't exactly seen anything spontaneous from Britney since she shaved her head. (Sorry, I went there.) What audiences really want from her is some kick-ass dance tunes to throw on their iPods, not some polite, rehearsed comments about a wannabe superstar's performance. I love her, but my goodness, she's going to be boooring.
On another note, Britney lending her services to "The X Factor" will likely lead to another round of comparison with her longtime "frienemy" Christina Aguilera, who sits over on NBC's "The Voice." Britney and Christina both arrived on the pop scene around the same time and these two ladies have endured years of comparisons, both professionally and personally. Though they have gone in different directions since they dominated "TRL," placing them on primetime TV might dredge up the comparisons yet again.
With all of that being said, I hope I'm wrong. I hope Britney surprises everyone (myself included) when she takes her seat at "The X Factor" judges' table this fall. Best case scenario: She wows the crowd, giving Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera a real run for their money. Worst case scenario: She bombs and is ousted after one season. But hey, everyone loves a good comeback.